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356       HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

a higher form in the child's practice of transforming the objects
of his immediate experience into symbols of other things. The
little boy astride a stick fancies himself on horseback: the little
girl, watching two planets shining side by side, calls them the
father and mother stars. So all the facts of the child's life assume
a meaning deeper than their immediate form: natural objects,
especially the animals in which he delights, may become charged
with moral values through the symbolizing activity that projects
the child's nature outward on things. The highest form of play
activity appears in the games in which he represents to himself
all the more important phases of adult social life.

In boyhood (under which term Froebel seems to include youth),
education changes its character. Feeling gives way to thought:
play to instruction. The main business now is to make the outer
inner by an understanding of the facts of life; and it becomes
necessary to decide what are to be the subjects of instruction.
For Froebel these are indicated by man's threefold nature. The
first is Religion, which is found at its best in Christianity. The
ChristiaiTreligion must therefore be the basis of all education.
No other knowledge is really possible without it. " True know-
ledge of nature is attainable by man only in the measure in which
he is consciously or unconsciously a Christian; that is, penetrated
with the truth of the one divine power that lives and works in
all things."* The second is Natural Science. Nature is the
manifestation of God, and the study of it, involving the con-
templation of outer facts, is the necessary complement of religion
which requires inner contemplation. Insight into nature reveals
the laws that rule in human life in their simplest forms and leads
the mind to a sense of the reign of law. Crystallography and
botany are of special value from this point of view : throughout
the phenomena with which they deal is visible the operation of
a single force, and so from multiplicity the soul is led to the
underlying unity. " From every object of nature and life there is
a way to God." In this connection Froebel is careful to emphasize
the great importance of mathematics as the connecting link
between the mind of man and the natural world. Mind, and
mathematics, he says, are as inseparable as the soul and religion.
The third group of studies is the language ^group. Language
establishes the inner living connection among the diversities of
* Education of Man, Hailmann's translation, p. 153,